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Welcome to a presentation of a platform for digital conferences

 A platform with tools for digital conferences. This is what the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG) has developed in a pilot project funded by the University of Gothenburg’s climate fund. The platform was created in response to the dramatic increase in air travel in academia.

Now the Department wants to share the tool with others. JMG will present the entire concept on 17 May.

The number of conferences and airplane trips is rapidly increasing in the university world. At the University of Gothenburg alone, the total amount of CO2 emissions rose by 20 per cent from 2008 to 2016.

Other higher education institutions in Sweden show a similar trend.

‘This is not sustainable and can’t be justified,’ says Mats Ekström, professor at JMG.

Successful Online Pilot Conference

Ekström is in charge of the project, named Digital Research Conferences. Together with his colleagues at JMG, he has developed a platform with tools that the team has tested in connection with a scholarly conference that gathered – in a digital sense – renowned researchers from several continents.

The conference was arranged and administrated by Ekström together with Oscar Westlund and Seth Lewis. Twenty-five researchers participated in the online conference without having to fly to Gothenburg.

During the conference, the participants could publish their contributions, comment on each other’s texts and interact through digital workshops over a period of 14 days.

Welcome to a Presentation at JMG!

‘Now we want to share the concept so it can be used and developed by others, too,‘ Ekström explains.

Thus, anyone interested in learning more is invited to a presentation at JMG on Thursday 17 May at 10–11 am, room 325.

After the presentation, the platform with tools will be published on JMG’s website ( The intention is for anybody to be able to download the tools with instructions from JMG’s website and try them out on their own.

Click here to sign up for the presentation

Next step

‘This has been a pilot project funded by the University of Gothenburg climate fund. Right now, we are discussing what to do next to find out how the concept can be implemented in the best possible way at the University,’ says Ekström.

The platform has been developed with a great deal of support from Amanda Waldenström, associate researcher at JMG, and Andreas Wieslander, web editor at the University of Gothenburg’s communication unit.

The project has been carried out with the assistance of a reference group consisting of Magnus Fredriksson, Annika Bergström, Nicklas Håkansson, Mattias von Feilitzen, Heikki Jalakas and Pontus Fagerström.

Read more

Mats Ekström and his colleagues at JMG Amanda Waldenström and Oscar Westlund have summarised their experiences from the pilot project in an article titled Det är dags för hållbara konferenser (in Swedish only) and published in the Swedish Research Council’s online magazine Curie.